,

3 of Our Favourite Recipes from Meet Your Matcha

Matcha is the fine green tea powder, packed with antioxidants, that’s taking the world by storm! It’s combination of endless health benefits, and delicious subtle flavours is quickly making this miracle ingredient a staple for foodies around the world. From smoothies to salads, main meals to munchies, there’s more to matcha than just another cup of tea. So to help you discover how you can pack your diet with the power of green tea, we’ve selected three of our favourite recipes from Joanna Farrow’s Meet Your Matcha.

Kedgeree with Matcha Butter
This is a recipe for matcha lovers everywhere! Serve the matcha butter atop the hot veggie rice so it melts in deliciously.

Serves: 4, prep: 10 minutes, cook: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
250g/9oz/1 1/4 cups brown
or white basmati rice
4 medium eggs
10 cardamom pods
65g/2 1/2oz/1/4 cup softened
slightly salted butter
1 tsp matcha
1 bunch of spring onions/
scallions, thinly sliced
100g/3 1/2oz/3/4 cup petits
pois or baby broad beans,
thawed if frozen
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper
lime wedges, to serve

 

Method:

  1. Cook rice in plenty of boiling, lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Lower the eggs into a separate pan of gently simmering water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the rice and eggs. Peel away the shells from the eggs. Crush the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar. Pick out and discard the empty pods and lightly crush the seeds.
  2. Beat 40g (1 1/2oz) of the butter in a small bowl with the matcha. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and gently fry the spring onions/scallions for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, peas or beans, cardamom, parsley, turmeric and a little salt and pepper, and mix well over a gentle heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Quarter the eggs, add to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to heat through. Transfer to warmed serving plates and spoon the matcha butter on top. Serve with lime wedges.

TIP! Nothing brings out the rich matcha flavour quite like butter. Any leftover matcha butter is lovely spread on toast, used for topping baked potatoes or stirred into rice. It’s definitely worth making double the quantity.

 

Rack of Lamb with Matcha and Pistachio Crust
Pretty pistachios and matcha make a crispy crust for simple roast lamb. Serve with traditional roast potatoes or buttered, steamed baby potatoes and a side of seasonal greens.

Serves: 2-3, prep: 10 minutes, cook: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
25g/1oz/2 tbsp butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh
rosemary
25g/1oz/1/4 cup pistachio
nuts, skinned if liked (see tip)
25g/1oz white bread, torn
into pieces
1 tsp matcha
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1 French-trimmed rack of
lamb, 6-7 ribs
150ml/5fl oz/2/3 cup of
lamb stock
100ml/3fl oz/scant 1/2 cup
red wine
1 tbsp light muscovado/
brown sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the over to 220C/425F/gas 7. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and gently fry the shallots, garlic and  rosemary for 2 minutes.
  2. Blend the pistachio nuts and bread in a food processor until finely ground. Add the matcha, the shallot mixture and a little salt and pepper, and blend to combine.
  3. Place the lamb in a small roasting pan, skinned side up, and pack the matcha mixture on top. Roast for 25 minutes if you prefer your lamb still pink in the middle, or an extra 10 minutes for well done. Transfer to a board and keep warm while you make the gravy.
  4. Add the stock, wine and sugar to the roasting pan,and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Carve the lamb between the ribs and serve with the gravy.

TIP! Skinning pistachio nuts isn’t essential, but it does bring out their emerald greeness! Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand for 30 seconds. Rinse and drain. Rub between paper towels to loosen the skins, peeling away any that remain with your fingers.

 

Dairy-Free Green Tea Popsicles
For vegans as well as those avoiding dairy products, these popsicles have a great milky consistency and plenty of flavour. They are the perfect green tea treat for lazing on a summer’s afternoon – or as a good-for-you dessert. 

Makes: 8-10 popsicles, prep: 5 minutes, plus freezing

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 1/2tsp matcha
350g/12oz/1 1/3 cups
dairy free coconut yoghurt
100g/3 1/2oz/scant 1/2 cup
agave nectar or coconut
blossom nectar
100ml/3 1/2fl oz/scant
1/2 cup oat or rice milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

  1. Break the banana into pieces and add to a food processor. Add the matcha and blend to form a smooth puree.
  2. Add the yogurt, agave nectar or coconut blossom nectar, milk and lemon juice, and blend again until completely smooth, scraping down any mixture that clings to the side of the bowl.
  3. Transfer to a jug and pour into ice-cream moulds. You’ll probably have enough mixture to fill 8-10 moulds. Push a wooden lolly/ice cream stick down into the middle of each and freeze for several hours until firm.
  4. To serve, run the moulds under hot water until you’re able to pull the lollies out of the mould

Enjoy your matcha inspired dishes and take comfort in the knowledge that not only are you eating delicious food, but you’re also loading your body with anti-oxidising goodness!

 

Joanna Farrow is a food writer and stylist with a flair for food that does you good. She has worked as a freelance writer for several food magazines including BBC Good Food. Her previous books include Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better, 30-minute Vegetarian, Good Fast Family Food and Ready Steady Cook for Kids. Joanna’s new book Meet Your Matcha is available now. For further information visit her website.

Packed: Becky and Michelle’s Favourite Hot Food Containers

packingbloglunchboxjumble

Here we review 3 of our favourite hot food containers*

 

  1. Polar Gear 500ml Lunch Pod

This lightweight, great value lunch pod comes in a range of colours. It is primarily designed to carry food to be reheated. Double-wall insulation means it can keep food warm for up to 3 hours depending on the weather outside so works well for breakfast or an early lunch. We think it is perfect for porridge if you like to breakfast at your desk.  It comes with a built in “spork” and a removable bowl divider.
Cost: £8.99
Find out more

  1. Thermos Stainless King Food 470ml Flask

We love the neat and stylish design of this wide mouthed food flask. The lid is quite small but it’s easy enough to eat straight from the flask. Food stays nicely hot for 7 hours which should see you through until lunchtime. It comes with a full-size, foldable, stainless steel spoon and is available in 4 smart colours: Midnight Blue, Matt Black, Raspberry and Cranberry Red.
Cost £18.99
Find out more

  1. Stanley Classic Vacuum 500ml Food Jar

Sturdy and with a classic design, this flask is just as much at home in a building site as an office. With a wider mouth than the Thermos flask it is easier to fill, eat from and thoroughly clean. The lid is also a decent size if you want to pour out your food.  It doesn’t come with a spoon so you need to pack that separately. Food stays properly hot for 12 hours which could be handy if you work long hours and justifies the higher price. It is available in two sensible shades of green and blue.
Cost: £24.99
Find out more

Don’t forget!

Your water bottle and some cutlery if you’re eating on the go.

*these 3 products were provided to us free-of-charge by the manufacturers to review them independently.

Becky Alexander is a food writer (The Guild of Food Writers) and food book editor for companies such as Dorling Kindersley, Penguin and Bloombsury. She writes a fortnightly food column for The Herts Advertiser newspaper focussing on seasonal, local food. Becky recently appeared on a BBC Radio programme giving commuters easy ideas for their lunches. Michelle Lake DipION CNHC mBANT is a registered Nutritional Therapist and has been running her own busy practice, Mission Nutrition in St Albans for over 10 years. She trained for four years at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition on its internationally acclaimed nutritional therapy course. She is a member of BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) and The Complementary and National Healthcare Council (CNHC).

packed

Becky Alexander, Michelle Lake
Packed
£12.99, pre-order from Amazon

 

 

 

,

Smart Sizzling – How to Have a Healthy Barbecue

Barbecue2

If you’re planning on firing up the barbecue, this is a good time to turn to the Barbecue chapter of my new book The Right Bite. On the face of it, a barbecue ticks a lot of health boxes, after all, grilled meats and salad seem to be a relatively healthy option, but there are some major pitfalls to watch out for. Here are four top tips to help you enjoy your next barbecue and maximise the potential health benefits.

  1. Select a Superior Sausage
    If you’re partial to a sausage, then take a close look at the actual meat content on the label, as this can vary dramatically. Some sausages contain less than 40% meat, which can include fat and connective tissue too, and which leaves a lot of room for fillers, such as rusk and water. The more your sausage leaks water or white liquid into the pan, the more it is likely to be largely made up of fillers. A premium sausage will contain 85-90% meat which makes it of far superior quality and ensures fewer additives and fillers. If you’re wondering which sausage to choose, spare a thought for a venison sausage – they’re a better source of protein than beef or pork sausages, as well as containing higher levels of energy-boosting iron.
  1. Tone Down the Toxins
    It’s a smart move to use lean cuts of meat, such as chicken, and to cut the fat off any red meat, as this will help to reduce the amount of fat that drips from the meat onto the barbecue which causes flames. Cooking meat over an open flame can lead to the creation of powerful toxins, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. You could also partially cook the meat in advance, so that barbecue cooking time is reduced. Using smaller cuts of meat and cutting off any charred bits could also help to reduce your potential exposure to PAHs.
  1. Shun the Sauces
    It’s easy to undo all your good work and careful choices by getting carried away with sugary sauces and glazes. A modest 37ml serving of sweet chilli or honey-based barbecue sauce contains around 4 teaspoons of sugar, so it’s important not to pour it on with a liberal hand. If sauce is a must, then opt for an unsweetened chilli sauce, a hot pepper sauce or even mustard, as these contain very little sugar.
  1. Keep the Coleslaw
    If it’s a toss up between coleslaw and potato salad, then you should choose coleslaw every time. Largely made up of antioxidant-rich cabbage and carrot, it contains about half the carb content of potato salad and twice as much fibre, which is good news for your waistline and your digestion. It’s also a smart move to opt for full-fat rather than low-fat coleslaw, as manufacturers often add extra sugar to low fat products to enhance the flavour, and coleslaw is no exception.

If you’d like more handy barbecue tips or would like to find out about the best choices for picnics, takeaway food and other tricky eating situations, then The Right Bite is definitely the book for you!

Jackie Lynch is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and runs the WellWellWell clinics in West London. Passionate about the importance of good nutrition for optimum health, she creates practical nutrition programmes suitable for a busy 21st century lifestyle. Jackie also provides advice and support for a range of blue chip companies, in the form of individual consultations for staff, nutrition workshops and menu analysis and has acted as a food consultant for brands such as Tetley. She is the ‘go-to’ person for the Mail on Sunday for sensible nutrition advice and has a regular column in Reveal Magazine. Jackie is also Chair of Trustees for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.

RightBite_cover

Jackie Lynch
The Right Bite
Available from Nourish Books
 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month

 

,

Spice Up Your Life!

Are you lacking a bit of spice in your life? Add an abundance of flavour by integrating these well-known spices into your diet and reap the benefit of their glorious healing properties.

Spices are much more than wonderful taste supplements. They also provide concentrated, powerful medicines that can enhance health and vitality, treasures that ancient cultures knew well and that modern society is now rediscovering through science and research.

GARLIC

Garlic has a proven reputation as an antibiotic active against bacteria, fungi and other infectious micro-organisms including staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli, trichomonas, candida and amoebic dysentery. It is a traditional remedy
for treating colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma.

A growing body of scientific research confirms garlic’s reputation forgarlic benefiting the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, reducing blood clots (by preventing platelet aggregation), reducing atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure. Recently, it has been shown that garlic can help to lower blood glucose and thus reduce the risk of diabetes, and there is some evidence that eating garlic regularly may help prevent the development of an enlarged prostate in older men.

Did you know…?

Eating fresh parsley with garlic helps to avoid bad garlic breath.

GINGER

gingerFor centuries, ginger has been taken to ease rheumatic complaints, and modern evidence confirms that it has an
anti-inflammatory effect and may also lower blood pressure. It can aid slimming if taken as a hot drink with food because, as well as giving a sense of fullness, it enhances the thermic effect of food, reducing feelings of hunger. Widely used as a digestive aid, ginger can also be effective for motion sickness and nausea. It makes a warming drink and is thought to improve circulation.

Did you know…?

Ginger is highly effective in treating morning sickness, but high doses should be avoided.

NUTMEG

In the Middle Ages, nutmeg was highly prized and believed to have magical powers. People even carried nutmeg
around with them in a small locket on a chain. It was said to comfort the head and the nerves, and was known to calm the digestion while stimulating the circulation.

Modern research has shown nutmeg to be among the strongesnutmegt antioxidants and an effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory plant medicine able to increase calmness while reducing feelings of anger and embarrassment. It has also been found to inhibit blood clotting and to decrease prostaglandin levels in the colon, making it useful in the management of Crohn’s disease. Extracts of nutmeg inhibit leukaemia cell development, and compounds within it have been found to inhibit the breakdown of elastin in the skin and thus keep the skin more supple. Nutmeg also seems to help protect the skin from overexposure to harmful UV sun-rays.

However, nutmeg does have a reputation as an intoxicant that can cause hallucinations and euphoria, together with palpitations, nausea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth and delirium, but the psychoactive effect is only seen in large doses and varies markedly from person to person.

Did you know…?

To relieve joint pain, try an ointment made by mixing freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and citronella oil with ground, uncooked rice. Apply to the affected joint and leave to soak into the skin.

STAR ANISE

The shikimic acid contained in star anise seeds is a strong antiviral agent and a primary ingredient in the synthesis of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu. Recent bird flu and swine flu epidemics caused the price of star anise to soar as drug companies bought up vast quantities in order to meet the surge in worldwide demand for antiviral drugs.

star-aniseStar anise is a warming, stimulating herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve cold stagnation, to balance the flow of Qi and to relieve pain. It is a traditional remedy for arthritis and digestive complaints, and has potent antimicrobial properties due, in part, to the presence of anethole, which is effective against bacteria, fungus and some yeasts. Its immune-stimulating, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, together with a gentle painkilling and sedative effect, make star anise a perfect remedy to give young children to relieve colic, and also to treat respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough and asthma. It is also a useful insect repellent.

Did you know…?

Sprinkling ground star anise on root vegetables before baking, or adding a whole star anise to sweet potato, pumpkin or leek dishes enhances their flavour.

 

HealingSpices_MiniJacket

 

Exacts taken from Healing Spices by Kirsten Hartvig

£12.99 | Available from Nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month

,

Chestnuts’ Special Place at the Christmas Table

Chestnuts

Chestnuts are traditionally given a special place at the Christmas table. These shiny brown nuts are delicious boiled or roasted – always split the hard skin first to stop them exploding while cooking – and eaten on their own. They are also good puréed and served as a side dish or mixed into stuffings. Tossed with freshly cooked Brussels sprouts, a knob of butter and freshly ground black pepper, they make one of the best vegetable dishes on the winter menu.
In southern Europe, they have a long culinary history, being used in breads, cakes and sweetmeats and to make a type of flour. Chestnuts have a natural affinity with chocolate and you will find many recipes for rich chocolate desserts, ice creams and cakes that include them.
Most recipes for chestnuts require them to be cooked and peeled, and although this is simple to do, you can buy ready-prepared chestnuts in cans or vacuum packs. These also have the advantage of being available at any time of the year.

Chestnut and hazelnut roast

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
100g/31⁄2oz hazelnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
225g/8oz mushrooms, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g/8oz chestnuts, cooked, peeled and finely chopped
85g/3oz white breadcrumbs
pinch of dried thyme
4 tbsp vegetable stock
juice of 1⁄2 lemon

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and process briefly to chop finely, but avoid grinding to a smooth powder. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and gently fry for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. They should be moist, but not wet.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts, chestnuts, breadcrumbs, thyme, stock and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Press the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden.
  • Leave the roast to stand for about 5 minutes, then very carefully invert on to a board or serving platter, cut into slices and serve.

index

Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month

,

The Seasonal Kitchen/ Autumn Squashes

Arriving in autumn (but known as ‘winter’ squashes), cold-weather squashes are set apart from their summer cousins by their thick skins, orange or yellow flesh and large, tough seeds. In her book Seasonal Food Susannah Blake invites you to try autumn squashes suggesting delicious recipes. Read on her vegetarian suggestion, a delicious Barley risotto with butternut squash.

There are many different types. The pumpkin, with its dazzling orange skin, is widely available, as is the creamy, smooth-skinned butternut squash and the smaller acorn squash, with its fluted dark-green or bright-orange skin. Less common are the hubbard, the onion and the Asian kabocha squash.

With their sweet flavour and smooth texture, all squashes are delicious sautéed, roasted, baked or steamed in their own juices and can be added to stews, pies and soups, used to stuff pasta or tossed into salads. Their natural sweetness also makes them ideal for using in cakes
and pies, pumpkin pie being the classic dessert served at a US Thanksgiving dinner.

Buy only unblemished squashes that feel heavy for their size. Avoid really large ones, as they often lack flavour. To prepare, halve or cut into segments, then scoop out the seeds, which may be roasted, cracked open and eaten as a snack. If sautéeing or adding to a soup or stew, cut off the skin; if baking or roasting, remove the skin before or after cooking.

Barley risotto with butternut squashrisotto recipe

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
2 butternut squashes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz pearl barley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
80ml/21⁄2fl oz/1⁄3 cup white wine
125ml/4fl oz/1⁄2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp crème fraîche
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
25g/1oz Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the squashes in a roasting tin, drizzle over about half the oil, tossing to coat, and
    season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking, until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the barley in boiling water for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the drained barley, pour over the wine and stock, and leave to bubble gently for about 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the crème fraîche, sage and Parmesan cheese, then fold in the squashes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

index

Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month

,

How to Make Kimchi

shutterstock_287394785

Extract from Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes

This popular spicy Korean pickle is the classic accompaniment to the rice dish Bibimbap, but a spoonful will lift any Asian rice or noodle dish. The Asian radish, daikon or mooli is traditional but I find turnip is just as good, easier to find and more economical to buy.

Makes: 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups
Preparation time: 2½ days

Ingredients:
165g/5 ¾oz/ ¾ cup salt, plus extra for sprinkling
750g/1lb 10oz Chinese leaves, halved crossways and cut into 4 wedges, tough stalk removed
375g/13oz turnip, peeled and coarsely grated
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp mild Korean red pepper powder, Aleppo
chilli flakes or mild cayenne pepper
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot chilli paste) or other hot chilli paste
2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger, grated (no need to peel)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
4 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil

Method:

  • Dissolve the salt in 2l/70fl oz/8 cups water in a large bowl. Sprinkle extra salt between the leaves
    of the cabbage. Put the cabbage in the salty water and put a weighted plate on top to keep it
    submerged. Leave to soak for 3 hours, or until the cabbage leaves are pliable and do not break
    when bent.
  • Using a slotted spoon, scoop the cabbage out of the water into a large colander and add the turnip
    to the salted water. Rinse the cabbage well under cold running water (this is important or it will be
    too salty) and leave to drain for 30 minutes while the turnip is soaking.
  • Mix together the soy sauce, red pepper powder, chilli paste, ginger, garlic, sugar, sesame seeds,
    spring onions and sesame oil in a large bowl.
  • Squeeze the cabbage to remove any excess water and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Slice the
    cabbage crossways into large, bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with the flavourings. Drain and
    rinse the turnip well, drain again and pat dry in a clean tea towel. Add to the bowl with the cabbage
    and stir until everything is combined. Spoon the kimchi into a sterilized Mason jar (see page 11) and
    press down with the back of the spoon. Put the lid on and leave in a cool, dark place for 2 days before
    eating to allow the flavours to develop, then transfer to a fridge. It will keep for several months in
    the fridge.

Veggienomics-Vegetarian-Cookbook-by-Nicola-Graimes-300x405
Nicola Graimes
Veggienomics: Thrifty Vegetarian Cooking
£14.99, Available from nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month.

,

Super Sprouts: All You Need to Know About Sprouting

2015.01.20-SproutFeatSpread-022

Extract from In the Mood for Healthy Food by Jo Pratt.

If you are not familiar with sprouts (and I don’t mean Brussels sprouts — they are a different thing all together!) then do read on. I must admit I didn‘t used to take that much notice of the tubs of loose tangles of pale threads with tiny unopened peas/buds at the top until I realized just how amazingly good for you they are.

Nutrition
There are lots of different types of baby plants and vegetables that are eaten in their sprouting stage and are a powerhouse of nutrients. They’re jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and enzymes that all have huge benefits to our health and wellbeing. When a plant or vegetable seed is germinated, its nutritional benefit increases anywhere between 300 and 1,200 per cent! So sprouted seeds are a pretty impressive condensed form of nutrients that shouldn’t be ignored. A little goes a long way in the world of sprouts so a mere handful of these ‘living foods’ included in your diet can give you a really healthy boost and leave you bursting with energy. What’s more, they can replace important enzymes in our bodies that we can no longer produce ourselves, as we get older.

Where to find them
When it comes to sourcing sprouts, they are becoming increasingly more available in supermarkets, grocery stores and, of course, health food shops, which is great news. However, your best option of getting to enjoy a variety of sprouts regularly is to grow your own – and it’s far easier than you might imagine.

How to sprout
You can buy all sorts of fancy sprouting seed trays and kits, but to get you started it can be as simple as using a fairly big screw-top jar (about 1–2l/35–70fl oz/4–8½ cups) and a lid with holes pierced into the top or a piece of muslin/cheesecloth securely attached to the top with a rubber band, for ventilation and drainage. I use a large Mason jar with a two-piece screw-top lid, replacing the metal disc with a piece of muslin/cheesecloth.

Details vary from seed to seed, but once you have some seeds or beans suitable for home sprouting sprouts(not planting) the general method is the same.

Put the seeds into your clean jar (fill no more than one-third full). Rinse with cold water, drain and then top up with fresh cold water. Leave to soak overnight (or less if the seed/grain package says so).

Rinse thoroughly, drain well (tip the jar upside down) and leave the jar on its side at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Rinse and drain a couple of times a day (I find at breakfast time and before bed is the most practical time for me) and after 3–5 days you should have fully sprouted seeds. Make sure they are well drained, then keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Flavours
Like vegetables, each and every type of sprout has a different flavour. These are just some of the types of sprouts around:
» Fresh and delicate microgreens – the baby leaves of vegetables such as beets, pea, rocket/arugula, clover and cress. These are very mild in flavour and can really enhance the presentation of a dish when scattered over the top.
» Spicy and add bite – radish, onion, fenugreek, garlic, mustard.
» Nutty and wholesome – these will add texture and crunch to a dish: mung beans, lentils, chickpeas, aduki, alfalfa and split peas.

What to make
Here are a few suggestions on how to include some sprouts in your diet:
» Add to tossed salads or make them the star of a salad (mixture of any sprouts)
» Mix into coleslaw (cabbage, radish or clover)
» Scatter into wraps or sandwiches (alfalfa, sunflower, radish)
» Add to stir-fries (mung beans, aduki, lentil, cabbage)
» Add to sushi (radish, clover, sunflower, broccoli)
» Stir into soups, casseroles and stews (chickpea, mung bean, aduki, lentil)
» Mix into curries (chickpeas, fenugreek, lentils, mung bean, aduki)
» Blend into juices (broccoli, clover, alfalfa, pea shoots)
» Blend into hummus (chickpea)
» Garnish dishes (microgreens, alfalfa, onion, pea shoots)

index2

Jo Pratt
In the Mood for Healthy Food
£20.00, Available from Nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month.

Don’t Miss the Thirsty Gardeners at the RHS Harvest Festival 6-7th October

feat image

Enjoy Autumnal Celebrations in the City at the RHS London Harvest Festival on 6-7th October (Lindley Hall, Greycoat Street, Westminster SW1P 2PE), where Richard Hood and Nick Moyle (the Two Thirsty Gardeners) will be demonstrating how to make some of the recipes from their book, Brew It Yourself.

Just as the leaves begin to turn, the annual celebration of seasonal bounty that is the RHS London Harvest Festival Show returns to the heart of the city from 6–7 October, celebrating the abundance of produce that the autumn harvest brings.

Visitors have the chance to see, taste and buy fresh autumnal produce from some of the UK’s leading nurseries, growers and independent food producers. Among the range of colourful fruit and vegetables on show will be the astonishing entrants in the RHS Heaviest Pumpkin Competition, with professional and amateur growers competing for the top prize of £1,000.

This year the show has a special focus on one of Britain’s favourite fruits, the apple. The Two Thirsty Gardeners (Richard and Nick) will be on hand to demonstrate how to make homebrewed cider with recipes from their new book Brew it Yourself, which will also be available to buy at the show. As well as sampling the cider, visitors will be able to taste and purchase a range of delicious apple cultivars from RHS Garden Wisley and gain expert advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

On 6 October, the show stays open until 9pm when there will be additional pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, seasonal fruit cocktails from the Midnight Apothecary, food and live music – giving Londoners unable to attend the show during the day the opportunity to celebrate the harvest season in style.

Make sure you pop on down to taste some cider, and learn how to Brew it Yourself!

 

1002_original1-300x388

 

Nick Moyle and Richard Hood
Brew It Yourself

£14.99

 

,

Chia Seeds: Nutritious and Healthy Superfood

by Christine Bailey

Chia seeds are an amazingly nutritious dieter’s superfood, rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which protect these healthy fats from being oxidised. Chia seeds also provide plenty of fibre as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc. When chia seeds are added to water, they form a gel that helps to slow down the digestion of sugars, helping to stabilise blood sugar and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.chia seeds

Chia Coconut Breakfast Bars

These are perfect for when you need something quick to grab and go.
A delicious tropical combination of dried mango and coconut, these no-cook bars are simple and easy to prepare. Using chia seeds is a great way to boost your intake of omega 3 fats.

Soaking time: 10 minutes
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling time
Storage: will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. Can be frozen for up to 1 month
Makes: 18 bars

Ingredients:
200g/7oz/1½ cups almonds
2 heaped tbsp chia seeds
125g/4½oz/2 cups dried
mango, chopped (soaked for 10 minutes)
juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp xylitol
4 tbsp melted coconut butter
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp lucuma powder
40g/1½oz/½ cup
ground flaxseeds
120g/4½oz/1½ cups desiccated coconut

Method:

  • Grind the almonds to a fine flour. Grind the chia seeds to a powder.
  • Drain the mango. Place half in a blender with the chia powder, orange juice, xylitol, melted coconut butter and salt. Blend to create a thick purée. Finely chop the remaining mango.
  • In a large bowl, place the ground almonds, lucuma powder, ground flaxseeds, mango pieces and three-quarters of the coconut. Pour in the purée and stir until blended.
  • Sprinkle a little of the reserved coconut over the base of a greaseproof-lined traybake tin, about 30 x 20cm/12 x 8in. Press the mixture into the tin and flatten the surface. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top, pressing down firmly. Refrigerate for 2 hours to harden. Cut into bars.

RawFoodDiet-e13544765804451-300x361

Christine Bailey
The Raw Food Diet
£10.99

The Seasonal Kitchen / Cucumbers

cucumber

Made up almost entirely of water, the juicy, refreshing cucumber comes in many shapes and sizes, from tiny, knobbly specimens to long, plump, smooth-skinned ones – and, although they are subtle, there are distinct shifts of flavour between the different varieties.
Cucumbers are used the world over, especially in salads and relishes, their mild flavour often being used to carrystronger flavourings or to provide a calming accompaniment to fiercer seasonings, such as chillies and spices. They are frequently paired with yoghurt, soured cream and cheese – a tradition that spreads from the eastern Mediterranean right through the Middle East and into India. Chopped cucumber is a central ingredient of raita, a cooling, minty yoghurt relish for serving alongside spicy curries, while in Greece it is stirred with yoghurt and mint to make the dip tzatziki, and the similar cacik in Turkey and other parts of the Middle East. It is also popular pickled or marinated with herbs, vinegar and spices – a tradition particularly associated with central and eastern Europe.
When buying, look for firm cucumbers. Although the skin is edible, it can easily be removed using a vegetable peeler, if desired. You can also quickly remove the seeds by halving the cucumber lengthways and scooping them out with a teaspoon. The flesh may then be sliced, diced, grated or cut into batons, ready to add to any dish you choose.

Tzatziki

summer recipe

Method:

  • Peel, seed and grate 1 small or 1⁄2 a large cucumber into a strainer and press out as much liquid as possible.
  • Tip the remaining flesh into a bowl and combine with 240ml/8fl oz/scant 1 cup of Greek yoghurt, 1 crushed clove garlic and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint.
  • Stir in salt to taste, then chill in the fridge until
    ready to serve.

index

Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month.

Coconut Oil in the Spotlight

coconut oil 2

This article is an extract from The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell.

Coconut oil has a fairly high smoke point (176°C/350°F), and so is suitable for frying. It can be heated without being damaged and oxidized, as other oils are. Oxidization causes oils to become unhealthy free radicals in the body. Choose organic, virgin and unrefined coconut oil, which is minimally processed.
Non-virgin coconut oil may be produced from dried coconut (copra) and will have lost nutrients as
well as being highly processed. Use coconut oil for baking, frying and in desserts or smoothies.
Alternatively, use olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying over medium heat.
Organic safflower oil is high in omega-6 essential fats and is my personal alternative for cooking if I am short of coconut oil.
Rice bran oil is rich in vitamin E and omega-6, and has a high smoke point at 232°C/ 450°F.
The only oil suitable for raw dishes, however, is coconut oil – for taste, nutrition and its ability to solidify quickly.

Crêpes with spinach & mushrooms

Serves: 4
Preparation: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour resting
Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup soya milk; 50g/1¾oz/¼ cup vegan margarine; 125g/4½oz/1 cup plain flour; 1 tbsp coconut oil; dairy-free yogurt and lemon; wedges, to serve

Spinach and mushroom filling: 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil; 180g/6¼oz button; mushrooms, thinly sliced; 400g/14oz baby spinach; 1 tbsp lemon juice; sea salt and freshly ground; black pepper

Put the milk in a large bowl and add the margarine, flour and a pinch of salt, then add 170ml/5½fl oz/²⁄³ c up water at room temperature.

Whisk, or use a hand blender, until smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling film, and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and put a heatproof plate inside to warm. To cook the crêpes, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in an 18cm/7in frying pan and add just enough batter to coat
the base of the pan, tilting the pan to spread the mixture.

Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then carefully turn the crêpe over and cook on the other side until lightly golden. Put the crêpe on to the warmed plate, then cover and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batter.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Add the mushrooms and fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the juices are released.
Add 1 teaspoon water at a time if the mushrooms begin to stick to the pan. Add the spinach to the pan and reduce the heat to low.

Cook for 2–3 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt, then stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling on to one edge of a crêpe. Roll it up gently. Continue with the remaining crêpes, then put the filled crêpes in an ovenproof dish and reheat in the oven for
10 minutes. (Or serve them at room temperature, if you prefer.)

Serve with yogurt, and a lemon wedge.

TheVeganCookbookCover1

Adele McConnell
The Vegan Cookbook
£14.99

 

Sign up for our newsletter to get our new articles straight to your inbox every month.